Gambling Act White Paper Suspected to Be Delayed Until 2023, Says Flutter CEO

Cristina Marziali 21/11/2022
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Between the covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and multiple leadership battles, the conservative party in the UK has been in constant flux and incredibly busy. This has meant that an essential document in the eyes of the gambling industry – the Gambling Act White Paper, has continually been pushed to the bottom of the list.

According to the CEO of Flutter, Peter Jackson, this trend is likely to continue, as the new leadership group headed by Rishi Sunak will want to take another look at it and make changes of their own. Although Jackson nor any other industry spokesmen for the industry is likely to know the exact date of when the document will finally be published, Jackson is confident that it is not expected to be released until at least next year.

Peter Jackson, Flutter CEO

peter-jackson-ceo-flutterSpeaking at Flutter’s Q3 earnings call, Jackson said, “I don’t know if I can really comment on timing because I’ve tried to comment for the last two years and keep getting it wrong, so I might have lost some credibility there,” he said. “But I suspect it’ll end up coming out after Christmas as there isn’t much time now before Christmas. “The new ministers, I think, will want to make their mark on it.”

The Gambling Act White Paper is part of a larger Gambling Act review, launched in 2020, to modernise legislation and guidance around new gambling practices and models. Originally planned to be released in late 2021, changes in the Gambling Commission delayed the document.

The next obstacle came when in July of this year, the minister responsible for the review, Chris Philip, resigned from the government. This resignation was then followed by Boris Johnson’s resignation, causing further delays until a new Prime Minister was installed. This time it was Liz Truss.

Truss then lasted all of 44 days before resigning, causing yet more uncertainty about when this document would be reviewed again. Currently, with new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the industry is waiting to see how long it will take this government to get around to it.

Also, in this interview, Jackson discussed the recent New York City court ruling on the US-facing brand FanDuel, which is currently valued at 22 billion dollars. A further court ruling is expected early next year, which could clear the path for a FanDuel IPO, but Jackson noted that market conditions would mean any listing is unlikely to be soon.

He said, “We have talked about an IPO, though it’s probably not the time right now, given the economic environment.”

Jonathan Hill, Flutter COO

jonathan-hill-coo-flutterRegarding international growth and development for Flutter, Chief Operations Officer Jonathan Hill said, “With regards to international, we shared the archetypes about how we’re thinking about the business,” he said. “And as I mentioned in my remarks, we saw good growth in our investment and consolidated markets.

“The fact that invest and consolidated markets make up 78% of revenue within international is fantastic. And this still has the headwinds of the Netherlands and Russia in there – soon enough, we’ll lap those. The guys in the international team have done a great job in growing that business and thinking about the strategy, direction and how we’re going to do it.”

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CMarziali / Cristina Marziali